The average man, if he meddles with criticism at all, is a conservative critic. His opinions are determined not by his reason — ‘the bulk of mankind’ says Swift ‘is as well qualified for flying as for thinking’ — but by his passions; and the faintest of all human passions is the love of truth. He believes that the text of ancient authors is generally sound, not because he has acquainted himself with the elements of the problem, but because he would feel uncomfortable if he did not believe it; just as he believes, on the same cogent evidence, that he is a fine fellow, and that he will rise again from the dead.

A. E. Housman (1859-1936) English scholar and poet [Alfred Edward Housman]
Introduction to Astronomicon of Manilius, Book 1 (1937)

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Added on 24-Sep-10 | Last updated 24-Sep-10
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